Asian Stocks Mostly Advance After G-20 Meeting, Nikkei Surges 2%

 
on February 18 2013 1:15 AM
Asian Stocks
Asian Stocks Reuters

Asian stock markets mostly advanced Monday with Japanese shares climbing more than 2 percent after the weekend’s Group of 20 finance chiefs' meeting has refrained from criticizing Tokyo’s monetary policies that have weakened the yen.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei climbed 2.01 percent or 224.12 points to 11,397.95, Chinese Shanghai Composite advanced 0.44 percent or 10.74 points to 2,429.27 and India’s BSE Sensex gained 0.24 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.26 percent or 61.24 points to 23,383.32 and South Korea's KOSPI Composite slipped 0.04 percent.

The official communiqué from the G-20 leaders pledged that they would not intentionally target their own exchange rates for competitive purposes while sparing Japan for its policies to devalue the yen against the world's other major currencies.

The Japanese yen has weakened about 15 percent against the dollar in the last three months as a result of aggressive monetary and fiscal policies that appear to inflate the world’s third largest economy.  The lack of specificity will mean that the G-20 statement will allow further unobstructed yen weakness in the months ahead.

"The G-20's message is that monetary easing is OK, but not to imply anything about leading a currency weaker. The G-20 effect is already seen in Abe's general comments on forex today, which steered away from giving specifics on a preferred level or direction for the yen," Yunosuke Ikeda, a senior FX strategist at Nomura Securities, told Reuters.

Japanese shares rallied, led by gains from exporter and financial companies’ shares after G-20 meeting. Exporters gained as the yen declined against its major counterparts. Toyota Motors gained 1.38 percent and Sharp Corp. advanced 1.59 percent, while Sony Corp. rose 1.07 percent.

Among the financials, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. climbed 4.33 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. surged 4.12 percent.

Weakness in resource related shares weighed on the Hang Seng. PetroChina Co Ltd. declined 1.32 percent and China Coal Energy Co Ltd. fell 1.60 percent, while Li & Fung Ltd. fell 1.18 percent.

South Korean shares declined after official data showed that the country's producer prices declined 1.6 percent in January on an annual basis following the 1.2 percent contraction in the previous month. Hyundai Motor Co. plunged 2.34 percent and Samsung Electronics fell 0.60 percent, while Kia Motors plunged 2.23 percent.

 

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